The Russian consulate is conveniently located to across the old metal bridge on the side from the Bund.
If you need a tourist visa you need to take the following:
Passport, Invitation/voucher (fax copy or email print-out is ok), photocopies from the main page in the passport, the Chinese visa and the invitation. Plus if you are from a country that needs to show a medical insurance then don't forget it.
The consulate is open Monday, Wednesday, Friday morning. It has info on the wall outside. Be prepared to line up for several hours, so go early. They only let in about 2 people at the time. Fees can be paid in Yuan or Dollars and depend on the speed and your nationality.
Fondest memory: Here is another photo of VT member simcard taken at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Pudong... In this one, Emily stands between opposing mirrors, creating the effect of infinite reflections and infinite simcards... This picture reminds me of those Russian babushka dolls, where one woman is enclosed inside another, symbolizing the continuity of life from one generation to the next...
Steven Speilburg was filming "Empire of the Sun" while I was in Shanghai. One of the days was very interesting as I kept coming across different "movie props" that I thought were real!! LOL When I saw this movie marquee for "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" I thought that it had run non-stop since the 1930's!! ahahha I was going to check it out...I also came across an old Texaco sign and in 1987 There weren't any of these foreign companies in China so that was a prop too...The foreign companies were just starting to get back in at this time. Well that sign was a movie prop also. In the evening I watched the Bridge scene being filmed as I stood up on the hill above the Wusong River. It was pretty interesting to see.
Fondest memory: This was so cool...I was disappointed that it wasn't a real movie house!
Favorite thing: I don't know why but I noticed that alot of the babies were being cared for by the fathers in Shanghai. When I did my wandering through the residential areas. Maybe the moms were working? Maybe the Moms needed a break? I don't know...just something that I noticed. I spend alot of time with my son and I also did the same when he was a baby....I guess we are all the same all over!?!
Fondest memory: I had a wonderful meeting with Emily, also known as VT member "simcard"... We met at the Shanghai Library and then had dinner together at a great Brazilian restaurant... From there, we went to Pudong and checked out the view of Shanghai at night from the 54th floor observation deck of the Grand Hyatt Hotel... The adorable Emily had some very interesting VT tales to tell and was great company on my visit to Shanghai!
Fondest memory: Shanghai's evening is incredible. This pic was taken from City Apartment, so the road there is Yan'An Rd - it is leading to the direction of the Bund. When the evening came, I could stand in the bacolny for hours just enjoying the beautiful night scene in front of me.
Fondest memory: This isn't my fondest memory. The traffic is so heavy here, which usually causes me quite a lot of stress. It is almost impossible to see the street scene like in some European country where there's no traffic at all during the day time. I am often quite scared on the road outside. And Shanghai cab drivers can be quite "crazy" sometimes.
The Yuyuan gardens are situated not far from the Bund in the southwestern side of the city. The Yuyuan is certainly tacky- a kind of China meets Disney with an added twist- but nevertheless well worth a visit.
The Gardens themselves were completed in 1577 by the Pan family in Shanghai. The original Gardens were destroyed twice in the 1800s and have now been restored. They are usually pretty busy but, are worth looking at if you can either come during the week or are prepared to face the masses. The gardens cover a significant space and include a few halls, springs and other buildings of interest.
The area surrounding the Gardens makes up the Old City God's Temple Area and was known in colonial times as the "Chinese City".Today, the area directly around Yuyuan has been "renovated" somewhat tastelessly and is a mass of tourist shops and naff decorations.
The operating hours is from 0830 to 1700.
Admission fee is RMB30 for Adult and RMB10 for child an elderly above 70 years of age.
The condition of environment is getting better and better in Shanghai. Even though the air quality still isn't so good compared to some European cities, it is better than some other big cities in China I've been to, such as Beijing.
Urban plantings are more and more seen in the city, which really lights up the city.
Fondest memory: When I leave Shanghai, I would never forget these beautiful flowers I can see almost everywhere in this city.
Shanghai is very modern in many ways and the bathrooms are no exception!
Fondest memory: But.....omg............Squat toilets are every where including some at the larger shopping malls. A tip for all is to roll off your required amount of paper before getting your balance and doing the bis, because most of them have the paper on entry so before you lock the door behind you, make sure your ready.........lmao!!!!!!! And always make sure you have some in your back pocket as well because if your caught short at one of the metro stations there will probably be no paper left and what will you do then ??
Mobile phones everywhere, everyone has one and they are all using them, as unlike NZ they are affordable to use for private use locally. My Nokia 6300 was purchased over two years ago in Shanghai, has MP3 for free music off the net and although i had to dowload some free programs for NZ use, this has been a great phone!
For some reason making a toll call from China is very expensive, so the most economical way to stay in touch with family and freinds back home is for them to phone you from a landline, we have NZ rates 17-19 cents per minute...lucky!
Shirley now tells me all local landline calls are pay as you use, not a monthly rental...ok this is why!
Fondest memory: We also use Skype webcam which is a great way to talk and really is best value!
Or Google gmail has a free webcam option if you are taking your laptop and into gmail?
Talking of computers, "facebook" is only available if you go through a proxy server "shush" lol..!!
Favorite thing: The national flag of the People's Republic of China is the five-star red flag. The red color of the flag is the symbol of the revolution, signifying that the political power of the People's Republic of China is achieved through bloodshed and lives laid down by countless revolutionary martyrs who marched forward wave upon wave in the heroic struggles for the revolution. In the upper-left corner of the flag there are five-pointed yellow stars, of which the big one represents the Communist Party of China and the four small ones the people of all ethnic groups of the country. One point of the big star points right up the flag and of the four small ones each has a point pointing towards the centre of the big star. This shows that the Chinese Communist Party is the force at the core of the leadership of the Chinese people of all ethnic groups who unite closely as one round the Party. With the color of the stars in yellow this means the great cause of socialism has a bright future. With the flag-staff painted white, that is to suggest flawless purity and loftiness."
Favorite thing: Look closely... I took this photo not because of the significance of the building but if you look closely you can see a man on the outside of the building performing some construction works but without any protection (from falling off). Just makes me wonder if life is so worthless to people in the most populated country of the world.
Favorite thing: Many taxis are reluctant to travel over the river to the Pudong side of the city and i have on three occasions now been asked to get out of the taxi becuase they refuse to go,it is worse when it raining becuase they always have many customers travelling short distance and at 10rmb min fare they can earn more money in short trips than the 25 rmb or so that it costs to go to pudong area.If this happens to you the best thing to do(unless you want to argue in Chinese) is find one of the many city center hotels and get your taxi there,they will not refuse to go to Pudong when they pick up at hotels.
Just walking around Shanghai is full of wonders, large and small, human and man-made: yes, there are some things all tourists are told to see but I found that just taking-in one section of Shanghai at a time was the best, and most deeply rewarding. Wandering around the French Concession I discovered fascinating streets with alleys and doors worth painting; I met people working in stores and found a fabulous bookstore that I would not have found if I were intent upon an itinerary...and, after a few days I felt like I really was in Shanghai...and I felt that sense of truly sensing what it must be like to live and toil in Shanghai. I also found-out that I could simply walk down Shanxi and get to Nanjing Lu without a taxi!! And, in so doing, found stores I would not have otherwise. Plus , hanging-out in the cafe a bit at World Books I found-out there is a flea market there starting in March. So, taking it slow and easy yields a thousand joys. The must-see Tourist sites like the Bund or People's Park paled in comparison to ambling along and observing freshly and without any filter. Also, this allowed me to stumble upon a small group of men playing traditional instruments in a very small meeting place...magic happens without plans!! Plus, not allowing myself to feel rushed yielded meetings with people that gave heart to the city...and, a city is, afterall, the people.
Fondest memory: My fondest memory of Shanghai is the amazing warmth in the eyes of the people I met, and the sweetness of their smiles. So many examples, but here is one: on a chilly, rainy night we were lost and could not find our restaurant...I showed a woman with her daughter the address in Chinese and she walked us four blocks in the rain to the restaurant...though we could only communicate with our eyes, it was one of the best communications! Such heart and sweetness are common.
The Hotel is truely a mixture of ancient and modern decore built in a Gothic Style, it once was...more
I must say, Shanghai is a city that a $350 a night for a hotel room doesn't get you much anymore,...more
Great hotel with the best service in Shanghai. Hang out at the Long Bar and feel the vibe of the old...more